I learned this morning that a very dear friend of mine died. He had battled an aggressive form of cancer for the last year. When I last visited him in the Portland Providence Cancer Ward, I learned that he had weeks left to live. It turned out to be a few days. Kevin was an elder at Portland Open Bible Church, a faithful husband and father, and a precious friend to many. He was a marathon runner, a brilliant set bullder, a top flight teacher and mentor of children and youth, and a man of God.
The photo depicts Kevin praying over others during the farewell church service for our long-time pastors, Phil and Priscilla. I have many wonderful memories of Kevin, but this one stands out. He was a giver of finances and time, love and encouragement, and creativity and faithfulness. Peter Jackson would have been fortunate to have him working on The Lord of the Rings sets. He was that good. Instead, he served God at Portland Open Bible, much of his time spent working on sets for kids plays, VBS, Scrooge the Musical, and special events, or concocting goofy skits with me. He was one of my key leaders on the Kidmin team, along with his wonderful bride, Cheryl.
I miss you, Kevin. When I walked into that hospital room and you reached out to me to shake my hand with the brightest smile you could muster, you touched my heart. But you aren’t there anymore. Whereas on earth you faithfully remained in Christ, now in heaven you are with Christ. No more pain. No more suffering. No more physical limitations which prevented you from doing the things you loved. I’m so happy for you. You are free forevermore.
I mourn my loss and that of our faith community, but I rejoice at your example. May your loving, giving, sacrificial passion to serve Christ by serving others carry on in the lives of those you touched. May we learn to remain in Christ consistently and faithfully so that one day, when Jesus calls us into eternity, we will hear what you are now hearing: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Goodbye, Kevin. I love you, Brother. I will see you soon at the appointed time which God has ordained.